Pancake breakfast gives to community
HUNTINGTON -- As fast as the members of the Kiwanis Club of East Huntington could cook them, thousands of pancakes were scooped up and consumed by the thousands of people who came to the club's 54th Annual Pancake Festival on Saturday at New Baptist Church.
The event is the club's single largest fundraiser each year, accumulating tens of thousand of dollars that the club uses to fund local groups including Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, baseball teams, Boys and Girls Clubs, and a host of other organizations for children, said John Kyle, president of the club.
He said the breakfast helps the club in achieving its mission.
"What's important for us to remember is our motto, 'We serve," said Kyle. "We are a premier service organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children in our community, one child and one community at a time."
At 4 p.m. Saturday, with three hours left in the festival, the attendance at this year's event already had matched the attendance of the 2012 event, when about 2,000 people came out to enjoy a meal while supporting the club.
Kyle said the festival has become a reunion of sorts for many people who have grown up attending it each year.
"We want people to come here and know they won't be bothered. It's a very relaxed atmosphere," said Kyle. "Of course, we want them to enjoy the food, but the thing I've noticed, after being part of this for 20 years, is that a lot of folks come here just as much to sit and talk to people they haven't seen in a while as they do to eat."
It's that kind of camaraderie that has kept Fred Ramey involved with the organization and, of course, flipping pancakes for more than 20 years.
"I've been affiliated with many clubs in my lifetime, and, other than the church, there is no club more responsible or dedicated to a cause than the Kiwanis," said Ramey. "When someone gives their money to the Kiwanis, they can be assured that whatever they give will not be wasted. It will be going to the children in their community, and it will be money that is put to work."